Friday, 18 May 2012

A typical Ledderhose Conversation

I had been wanting to make this post for the last few days and now I am finally getting the chance.

So over the last week or so a lot of the people that I am working with have commented on my foot, or at least my leg. You see at work I cannot use the stick (I need one hand gloved to carry samples and another hand for opening doors etc) so it may not be apparent to some people that I am limping or even have a problem but I guess things are getting worse as in the last week I have lost count of the number of times different people have said what is wrong with your leg / foot and here is how the conversation tends to go. 

Me: I have a bad foot. 

Them: What's wrong? 

Me: Basically I have a non-cancerous tumour in the arch of my foot. 

Them: That sounds quite painful, is it? 

Me: Yes it is. 

Them: Why don't you just get it cut out? 

Me: It grows back about 80% of the time so they don't like to do that. I have had a steroid injection but it only helps for a very short period and I do now have inserts in my shoes. 

Them: Oh no, why does it grow back so much? 
(Remember I work with scientists so we are very interested in all these sorts of things)

Me: Basically it is a kind of scar tissue so when you cut it out you make more scar tissue and so it grows back and often it is worse. 

Them: So what are you having done? 

Me: Well there is evidence that Radiotherapy helps in up to 80% of cases so I am having to pay privately to get this done. 

Them: Why don't the NHS offer that? 

Me: Cost and lack of resources I think but studies have shown it is one of the better treatments and it is certainly a better option that Surgery. Luckily I have friends and family who have chipped together to buy it for me

Them: I hope that help, so just how big is it? 

Me: Well it started off as about the size of a pea and then has gotten bigger and it probably at least the size of an average grape

Them: Ouch, well I hope you get better and that the radiotherapy helps. 

So that is more or less how the conversation goes, some people ask what it is called, some people aren't so interested and might ask less than above. But I have really lost count of how many times I have had this conversation and I guess it is nice that people are concerned even if it means it is getting more noticeable